ORIGINAL: Gelatinous Cube
I don't like the 15x15 maps, but I do like 10x10 maps with 1400 stars, abundant colonies, hard AI, and 19 other empires!
So far no slowdown really in my current game, but i've had to play at a consistent .5x or (when i'm lucky) 1x just because there's so much going on. I don't mind that, it's just a change of pace.
Yeah, I think I'll play my next game on a smaller grid, I just wanted to test the 15x15 hugeness. What's your year date?
The latest pictures from my fleet posture thread are in the 2770s, but i've played up to year 2800-ish now. I don't get any slowdown except in when I open those top menus from the main screen, and only then just a quick delay when selecting the filter from the dropdown.
However, this computer's a beast. 8gigs of RAM, Nvidia GT520, and an i5 Quad-core 3.3ghz. Well, not really a beast.. just compared to my last computer, which was 4gigs of RAM, a Core-2 Duo (2.1ghz) and a GeForce 9800M. On the old one, I would get visual lag on the main map screen by this point. Nothing yet on my new computer, aside from those ledger-menu problems.
The biggest thing with playing a game on a REALLY BIG map is that you NEED to trust the automation to do what you're telling it to do. While I don't micro-manage most of my fleets, I do personally create all the fleets and assign them to their bases and postures manually--it's a pretty quick process initially setting all my fleets up as I go, but if a war breaks out and I have to re-assign half the fleet to different areas, that's almost an entire evening's session.
Conclusion? The larger maps require a very different approach to the game. When both you AND your enemies have over 30 colonies and 20,000 Military Strength, you can't just micro-manage one or two invasion fleets any more.